At “the blog of less renown,” famous performers rarely get mentioned. They don’t need it. Their work is easy to find. Only vain idiots would bother upping an entire discography as a “tribute,” adding their own stupid Nazi name as a password (for what they merely stole from other blogs). They do it to get a free Freakyshare account or bitcoins. Some are so pathetic they only want a “nice comment” in return, one that will rock their Swedish-meatball middle-aged fat-faced lonely loser world. English being a second language, stealing a write up from "All Music" and pretending they wrote it, and adding "RIP" is their 16rpm speed.
So, no, you get no ELP or Nice albums here. If you really cared you would’ve bought them already. If you really need an introduction to this stuff, you must be very young or very senile, and that’s your problem not mine.
No, the reason Keith Emerson (November 2, 1944-March 10, 2016) is mentioned here is to acknowledge two things about him that are greater than the sum of his 20 minute show-off organ solos or whatever he did that made progfrogs consider him right up there with Rick Wakeman as a genius of “classical” rock.
Looking at the bigger picture, what makes this guy’s death important even to those who hated his rock groups, is how it happened and what led up to it.
Point One: he suffered from intestinal problems. Add the recently deceased Glenn Frey (colitis), as well as Patty Duke today (death due to sepsis from a ruptured intestine) aging rock fans are beginning to see that food over-processed and chemically altered by modern farming techniques is kicking us in the gut. Maybe some of this doesn’t outright kill us, but it fucks our quality of life and often makes us susceptible to something lethal. Let’s add David Bowie’s cancer to this. Our innards are getting corrupted and it seems the odds are much greater now of getting lethal liver, pancreas or intestine rot than a good ol’ quick heart attack.
More and more people are finding, like the late Keith Emerson and Glenn Frey, that immune-deficiency is a hell on earth. Medication taken to stop the body from attacking itself can also stop the body from defending itself.
This situation has been building over several decades. No less an indestructible force than Frank Sinatra suffered from diverticulitis and had to deal with a very shitty situation involving a colostomy bag before he got any kind of cure. And what happened next? He began to wither in confusion and more misery. His son had prostate cancer and not too long after that, a fatal heart attack.
Most of us grew up never knowing about diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, AIDS, SARS, ebola, or some of the other seemingly new or newly festering illnesses out there. These things mutate pretty quickly, and one thing leads to another. Glenn Frey had colitis, then arthritis, and seemingly well enough to appear at reunion Eagles concerts, he ended up in a coma, and dead. And before Keith Emerson shot himself?
Here’s a Facebook post from Keith Emerson, from 2010.
No, that doesn't sound like fun, does it? People kill themselves in the midst of problems like that. Yes, Keith Emerson “got better.” Just as Glenn Frey and Sinatra Jr. “got better.” Emerson found more ailments creeping up on him, and his quality of life diminishing. Did he see any hope in dangerous drugs that can cause cancer or suicidal depression? Now we know what drug Del Shannon should NOT have taken. Do we know what warnings should be ignored on new wonder drugs like Remicade or Humera? You’re putting your life in your hands listening to a doctor, a second opinion, or ignoring either opinion. No winners, it seems.
Patty Duke’s sepsis from a ruptured intestine? I’m not sure if that’s a common problem but I would not be surprised if it’s becoming one because our bodies are so weakened by pollution, stress and lack of proper nourishment. Some of this you can blame on the government allowing the Monsanto bunch to do as they please, but a lot is the fault of ignorant slobs who don’t care what poisons they put in their bodies in the guise of a “happy meal.”
While various fan-assholes grumbled that Keith Emerson was a “coward” for killing himself, and depriving them of another tour, or a new album they can complain “isn’t as good as the old ones, just like we were disappointed by the new Jethro Tull and Vanilla Fudge…”) let’s dismiss them. They are FAN ASSHOLES. They are likely to live a shorter life than Keith Emerson because they are happily gorging on ham from shit-covered pigs loaded with infections, burgers from mad cows, and “wings” from bacteria-infected chickens. All washed down with a soda containing 8 spoonfuls of sugar.
The ones who don’t understand Emerson’s suicide, or shrug that Frey somehow just “died too soon” and that’s fate, are just ignorant fools. They laugh at climate change and smirk as they order that “heart attack on a plate” at the deli. They also don’t realize that for every star’s suicide there are hundreds and thousands of ordinary people going that same route, which means the problem is much more severe than what Todd Rundgren once called the “tortured artist effect.”
And so it was, that Keith Emerson put an end to his misery. “Suicide is Painless,” as the song says.
Your download is the Roger Williams cover version of the M*A*S*H theme, since it’s a lot more obscure than the one on the original soundtrack to the movie. You’d expect the song to get the stereotypical Roger Williams treatment of “falling leaves” piano glissandos but this item is closer to what a Percy Faith would’ve done. It’s got a full orchestra (which Roger did not conduct), and even a chorus just like the film. The TV show never did offer a lyrical version of “Suicide is Painless” in any episode. Maybe Alan Alda and his gang knew something from operating on people who tried to kill themselves and didn’t quite complete the job? Maybe suicide isn’t painless. You can’t ask Keith Emerson.
Roger Williams Suicide is Painless